The more “nervous” the pasta, the better. The “nerve” is the effort required to chew the pasta, its resistance to being cut, its elasticity, its palatability, the structure we recognise when chewing it. And the greater chewiness of “al dente” pasta, not only makes it tastier but also more digestible.
Chewing slowly and carefully stimulates the receptors that effect our feeling of satiety, reducing our sense of hunger that leads to eating more. What’s more, mastication is the first stage of digestion. Breaking food into smaller pieces makes it mix better with saliva, which is essential for the metabolism and easier to digest.
A perfectly-cooked (i.e. al dente) pasta is also healthier as it has less impact on our glycemic index and lower insulin production stimulation. Our digestion slows down, as does the absorption of the glucose contained in the starch: the result is a lower glycemic index. So don’t leave it raw, don’t overcook it, but make it “al dente”.
Even the international scientific community, in the scientific consensus paper “Healthy Pasta Meals”, stressed that at a time when diabetes and obesity are so prevalent all over the world, pasta dishes and other low-glycemic foods help control blood glucose levels and weight, especially in overweight people. And that the way pasta is produced, which limits the release of starch through its protein content, has beneficial effects on reducing glycemic response.